Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:3-5.
Jesus gets down on one knee. The day before His death, Jesus ate with His friends and served them in a way fit only for a slave. He even served the one that was to betray Him. These are the types of things not learned by learning but by doing. When resistance to Him was almost at its apex, Jesus got as low as He could and became a servant.
Why we need to get down on one knee. It doesn’t feel easy to be a Christian these days. In my country, holding to traditional Christian beliefs is not a ticket to admiration and good PR. It can sometimes feel like we are on the verge of more difficult times to live out discipleship in the public sphere. In times like these when retreating from this world or compartmentalizing our faith in to our private worlds is most tempting. But it is times like these when it is most important to serve this world and seek the common good of all. On the eve of hardship, service. We must never become bitter at our culture (“they’re going to hell in a handbasket!”) or be offended at unbelief (remember faith is a gift). When Christian faith seems most controversial and counter-cultural is when Christians are to love this world the most and be the best citizens/neighbours we can be. Read Peter and Paul in context and tell me this isn’t part of their message.
And never stay silent. While we serve our broken world we will be tempted to close our mouths about Christ and His Good News. I sometimes fear that the years ahead will become more difficult to be a Gospel-trusting Christian. But when things seem darkest for our comfort may be when the future is brightest for the Gospel. As long as God’s people are praying and speaking, the Good News will be working.
On the eve of His suffering and death, was when the Lord was perhaps at His most humble. Let’s pray that He will empower us for the same sacrifice:
Lord, let us not count ourselves among the rich and noble of this world. Even as are strangers and pilgrims in this world, turn our hearts toward others and the good of this broken world. Let us never become bitter towards the times in which we live for You have appointed us to live in them. We look to the hope of the future we have in Your Resurrection. We believe there are goods times ahead for the Gospel and fruitful labour in it for us. Give us Your Spirit and make us agents of truth and goodness. AMEN.